Books Acquired Recently

Morris, Marla, Mary Aswell Doll, and William F. Pinar, eds. How We Work. New York: Peter Lang, 1999.

This is a collection of essays by writers in a number of different fields about their writing processes. One of my goals during my sabbatical has been to read a lot about writing in order to improve my own and to think about where I want my writing to go in the future. I saw a citation for this book and thought it would be helpful for this goal, and I found a new, inexpensive copy for sale, so I decided to buy it.

Pollack, Rachel. Fortune’s Lover: A Book of Tarot Poems. New York: A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2009.

Tarot has become a daily part of my life this year, and poetry is also a daily part of my life, so I was excited to hear about this collection that combines the two. I ordered it several months ago and was told it would be delayed due to the pandemic. It arrived today from Spain (which is where it was printed)! An enjoyable surprise.

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

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